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Friday, April 29, 2011

People will be People

I want to start off by saying that I did not wake up early to watch the Royal wedding of William and Kate, but with every media outlet reporting on it missing it has been difficult.

But through my second-hand exposure, what I have been able to reflect on is how alike we all are... regardless of title, wealth, or power - we are all just people.

Prior to the wedding, there was reports of Kate's ... umm... "Eccentric" Uncle Gary Goldsmith and his past

At the wedding there was everyone from Elton John to David Beckham... So what?

At any wedding you go to, everyone will have a relative they really hope will behave... then there is the unpredictable acts that children do:

From Tom Pettifer doing what 8-year olds do best:

To an overwhelmed bridesmaid, Grace Van Cutsem:

But what does this have to do with regards to those of us in the workplace?

Alot.  While all of us aspire and respect people with title's like: VP, Director, CEO, Prince, etc. we are who we are.

While I don't think the words "Can we afford this" ever left Katie's mouth in preparing for the wedding, and most of us will never be involved in any ceremony of this level, at the end of the day it is a wedding between 2 people.

Regardless of title and background, they are just 2 people that found each other and want the best for each other - regardless of their crazy relatives... on both sides.

If I could tie this into the workplace, it would be to say that it is important to remember the human side in everything you do... we are not perfect... and neither are our families.

All the best to William & Kate!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Unpaid Internships, are they worth it?

Depending on where you are in your career, or life, chances are you or someone you know has had to evaluate the worthiness of an unpaid internship.

The theory is this: the company offers you a chance to gain some great experience for your resume, and there really isn't a financial commitment from them... win-win?

I remember back in college, when I had no HR experience, and the majority of my experience was in a kitchen or customer service kind of role - we were all there at some point.

In my program we had the option of taking 3 different co-op positions, paid, during the course of our program and a chance to learn some great skills.

Long story short, this was still a difficult process but I did manage to get an internship... but unpaid.

But I was young and figured, so what?

The company was offering me a chance to get into some policy development, revising job descriptions, and a variety of other experiences  - so I took it.

A few other colleagues managed to get co-op positions at different companies.  Most however found that they did alot of filing... they got paid... but were primarily exposed to filing.

I didn't get paid, but I loved my co-op position.

I don't want to sound like a Guidance Counselor, so I apologize in advance.

But whether an internship/co-op placement is paid or not isn't the point - it comes down to the ROI.

The way I justified it was, I wasn't getting paid to be in school - so what was the difference?

Long-term, the experiences gained during this initial placement really helped pave the way in next opportunities - it established momentum in my HR career.

In short, the worth of an internship doesn't always come down to the paycheque but rather the skills you can gain to sell yourself for the rest of your career - think long term!